Phobias are the No. 1 psychiatric illness in women of any age and the No. 2 in men older than 25, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
A "specific" phobia, or an "excessive and unreasonable fear of a specific object, place or situation," afflicts about 19 million people in the U.S., according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Fears can range from the relatively commonplace fear of closed spaces, or claustrophobia, to the more unusual, such as a fear of dolls or children, known as pediophobia.